MIAMI (CBSMiami) – After a weekend of mind-bending music and more than 150,000 pulsating bodies, Ultra organizers on Monday declared the 18th annual electronic festival on Biscayne Bay an electrifying success.
“We had an incredible music festival, three day music festival, that showcased downtown Miami and the city of Miami and this beautiful venue here,” said Ray Martinez, Ultra’s chief of security.
This year’s Ultra Fest was about music and fun, not marked by the drug abuse, the fence jumping and violence that stole the headlines in 2014 and lead to major reforms, including strengthened fences and lots more security.
“I’m happy to say we only had a total of 35 arrests this weekend, 19 of which were felonies and 16 misdemeanors,” said Miami Police Lt. Freddie Cruz.
That is a 50 percent decrease from last year.
Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll said dozens of people were treated, but none for drug overdoses.
“A lot of them were the result of people out there enjoying themselves, dancing, most of them were on the exertion side of it,” Carol said. “Everybody we transported was able to tell us exactly what they were experiencing.”
After prior disturbing festivals, the city of Miami imposed changes, including an age limit.
“One of the things was making sure the age limit would be 18 and over,” said Miami City Commissioner Frank Carollo.
If there was a jam of people at Ultra, there wasn’t the traffic jam of years past, thanks to increased mass transit, and Uber, an Ultra sponsor.
“We moved thousands of festival attendees this weekend in a safe, affordable, reliable manner with our Uber Ultra lot,” said Javi Correoso, an Uber spokesperson.
Ultra, a famous event, once known for some infamous elements, appears to have grown-up, along with the throngs that boogie down.
Uber organizers estimate the event poured more than $200 million into the local economy and filled hotels to 98 percent. Of course there was this other little thing going on over at Key Biscayne – the Miami Open, a grand slam tennis tournament.
As for traffic, portions of the northbound lanes of Biscayne Boulevard were, at last check, shutdown as crews worked to cleanup the area. The southbound lanes were slowly but surely reopening. Drivers should seek an alternate route if possible.
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